In the first half of last year I completed a paper called ‘Educational Leadership in Higher Education’ which was the first of four papers in a Post-Graduate Certificate in Leadership that I’m doing through University of Waikato.
This paper enabled me to explore theories and concepts of leadership, and use these to reflect on my own leadership practice. One of the assignments involved creating a ‘Leadership Platform’ where I identified some of my key personal values, reflected on how I demonstrate these values and sought feedback from colleagues on how well I live these values at work. This was an enlightening and satisfying process.
Doing this paper was a transformational learning experience and has helped me to increase my level of self-awareness. It has also given me an understanding of how I, along with my organisation, am influenced by wider contextuall factors, including the prevailing neo-liberal educational environment. I find leadership theory fascinating and thoroughly enjoyed the classroom discussions, readings, and assignments. A few of the books I read during the course: Emotional Intelligence by Daniel Goleman, Leadership: The Challenge for the Information Profession by Sue Roberts and Jennifer Rowley and Authentic Leadership by Bill George.
After completing the paper, I shared my Leadership Platform with my team, with the aim of helping them to understand my values and the expectations that flow out of these. This was followed by several team sessions which gave the staff an opportunity to share their own values and what is important to them.